Non-surgical skin tightening & skin lifting

New advances in technology and a general shift in the trend towards non-surgical procedures has increased the demand and options for non-surgical skin tightening and lifting.

Article Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)

Dr. Gavin Chan

Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics

Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
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Quick facts of skin tightening and lifting

  • Skin tightening or lifting has traditionally required surgery, however,  there are now non-surgical methods available.
  • There are non-surgical methods using heat energy generated from ultrasound or radiofrequency to penetrate down to the deep skin or foundational layers of the skin to tighten it. These include Ulthera, Infini, and Pelleve.
  • Anti-wrinkle injections can help to reduce the action of downward pulling muscles in the face resulting in an upwards lift of the skin.
  • Dermal fillers can replace lost volume in the face and this can help to re-expand and tighten skin.
  • Lasers such as the carbon dioxide laser can resurface as well as tighten skin on the face.
  • A thread lift can be used to lift the skin by using special threads or sutures to pull the skin backwards and upwards

How can I lift and tighten my face non-surgically?

Lifting or tightening the skin on the face has traditionally required surgery. Surgical procedures such as facelifts, eyelid skin reduction (blepharoplasty) and brow lifts have been performed to elevate and tighten facial skin. However, surgery is not for everyone. There are various sub-groups of people where surgery is not required. These groups may include;

  • Those where surgery is not warranted as they are too young or have too little skin laxity to justify a surgical procedure. These people generally want to tighten the skin or lift the skin as a preventative measure
  • Those who are unfit for surgery
  • Those who just prefer not to have surgery if possible
  • Those who would like to delay surgery as much as possible, and in the meantime try to achieve some skin tightening/lifting with less invasive non-surgical procedures.

With new technology and techniques, it is now possible to lift and tighten the face without surgery. These techniques are minimally invasive and require no significant recovery period in most cases.

Name of treatmentDowntime requiredNumber of sessions suggestedPrice per sessionPain factorEffectiveness
Thread liftswelling, bruising. Usually 1 week to recover1, however, effects may not be long lived++++++ if done under sedation, ++++ if awake++
Ulthera (focused ultrasound)No visible downtime1++++++++++
Infini (radiofrequency needling)3 to 5 days3+++++++
Anti-wrinkle injectionsmild bruising may occur3 to 4 monthlyvariable++
Dermal fillersBruising and swelling may occur6 to 12 monthly depending on area treated and filler usedvariable++
Pelleve (radiofrequencyvery mild redness for less than one day2-3++++
Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing2 weeks recovery at home. Significant swelling, redness, scabbing. 1++++++ if done under sedation, ++++ if awake+++ (works well around eyes)


Ulthera is a focused ultrasound device that is used to target the deeper foundational layers of the skin to heat and tighten the skin. Unlike the traditional ultrasound devices used for scanning e.g like those used in pregnancy scans, Ultherapy focuses ultrasound energy to a single point that is deep to the skin. Thousands of these points are used in Ultherapy to target specific points beneath or deep in the skin to heat these areas to a critical temperature. At this temperature, skin tightens and new collagen is formed. The depth of treatment can be as deep as 4mm into the skin.


Infini is a device that combines skin needling with radiofrequency. 49 needles enter the skin at one time and a radiofrequency current is applied at the tips of the needles. The needles can be inserted into various depths of the skin, up to 3.5mm. The process heats the skin, and produces new collagen and skin tightening. It also is a good treatment for atrophic (indented) acne scarring.

Pelleve skin tightening 

This is a no downtime treatment that involves heating of the skin with a radiofrequency device. It is actually a relaxing and pleasurable treatment that gently heats the skin to about 41 degrees celsius. At this temperature, the collagen fibres in the skin shrink and therefore the skin tightens.

Anti-wrinkle injections

The muscles of the face generally work in pairs, and usually there is a downward pulling muscle which is opposed by an upward pulling muscle. For example, there is a muscle that pulls the corners of the mouth upwards and backwards when you smile, and opposing muscles that pull the corners of the mouth downwards.

Anti-wrinkle injections can be used to selectively relax various muscles of the face. By relaxing the downward pulling muscles of the face, it is possible to allow the upward pulling muscles to be relatively stronger, and therefore cause an upward lift in the face. Examples of this include;

  • relaxing the muscle underneath the brows to create an eyebrow lift
  • relaxing the muscle that pulls down the corner of the mouth to help lift the corners of the mouth
  • relaxing the muscles in the neck that pull the jawline/jowls/cheeks down it is possible to lift the jowls and improve the jawline. Often this technique is called a Nerfertiti lift, named after the Egyptian Queen, who was known for her defined jawline.

Dermal fillers 

One of the key causes of facial ageing is volume loss. Volume loss can lead to skin laxity, in a similar way that a beach ball would if it lost some air.  Replacement of lost volume can therefore ‘re-inflate’ the face, tighten and lift skin. Dermal fillers are the most common way of replacing lost volume in the face. They can be used in areas such as the cheeks, brow, jawline, and chin to help to lift skin and to improve skin firmness.

Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing 

This laser is used to resurface skin for the reduction of wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation problems, and also to tighten skin. It actually removes a layer of skin as well as heating the skin to tighten it. It is particularly effective around the eyes for skin tightening. It can be performed in fractional mode (small columns of laser energy are fired into the skin, leaving some untreated skin) which reduces healing times, or in non-fractional mode, which has greater downtime.

Thread lifts 

Thread lifts are a non-surgical method of lifting the tissues of the face by using specialised suture material. These specialised sutures are inserted into the skin without cutting the skin. Because they have small barbs on them, they are able to grab on to the skin and hold it in a higher position.

Why should I choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute as my provider of non-surgical skin tightening and lifting?

At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, our doctors have a large range of dermal fillers for you to choose from to suit your needs and goals. We specialise in anti-wrinkle injections for facial lifting. Also, we have the latest technologies available so that you can have the best treatment possible. We have a number of skin tightening machines to choose from. Our practitioners can select the option that best suits your requirements.

Making that first phone call can be a confronting task – many of our patients have preferred filling out our online enquiry form.
We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.

It’s as easy as clicking either of the buttons below and completing the provided form.

Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.

Dr. Gavin Chan
Dr. Gavin Chan

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